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Edinburg residents will be choosing who will represent them in three public offices come Election Day next Tuesday — two seats on the city council, and municipal judge where the incumbents have each drawn a single challenger.

The campaign finance reports for the six political hopefuls show that spending among them has been a mixed bag.

The two newcomers to the city council race have outraised and outspent the incumbents — including one candidate who immediately amassed a six-figure war chest.

Meanwhile, in the race for municipal judge, one candidate has garnered monetary support from a bevy businesses, bail bondsmen and attorneys, while the other has largely relied on his own funds to bankroll his race.

In the race for Place 4 on the Edinburg City Council, residents will choose between incumbent Johnny Garcia and challenger David Salazar.

Campaign finance reports for the two men show that Salazar’s campaign coffers are outpacing Garcia’s, but also that both their spending slowed down significantly in October compared to the summer and early fall.

Salazar’s seven-day report — which covers a period from Sept. 29 through Oct. 28 — shows that he amassed $9,500 in new contributions while spending more than $14,000.

At the end of the filing period, he was left with $3,523 in campaign funding, including a $3,500 loan from his insurance agency, Silverhorn Insurance Agency.

Salazar’s 30-day report shows he raised nearly triple the money his incumbent opponent did.

Between July 1 and Sept. 28, Salazar raised $34,930, while spending $34,702, the 30-day report shows.

Early voting at the Edinburg Annex on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

Garcia, the incumbent, didn’t raise any funds during the last month leading up to early voting. Throughout several reporting periods, the funeral director and pastor has raised the least amount of money of anyone on the Edinburg November ballot.

Garcia’s seven-day report shows that he spent just $4,143 between Oct. 10 and the Oct. 30 filing deadline. Of that, $3,100 went toward advertising expenses.

Garcia’s summertime spending was similarly sparse.

Between July 16 and Oct. 9, Garcia raised $11,750 in political contributions and spent just $5,700.

The bulk of that spending, nearly $5,600, went toward advertising and campaign shirts, the report shows.

At Place 3 on the council, residents will decide between incumbent David White and challenger, Gerardo “Gerry” Lozano.

Campaign finance reports show that the two candidates have raised and spent the most money of all six men on the ballot.

White’s seven-day report shows he spent just under $19,575 between Oct. 7 and the Oct. 30 filing deadline. Over the same period of time, he collected $8,500 in new political contributions.

By the end of the filing period, White maintained $10,422 in unused political donations, as well as a $5,000 balance in an unused loan.

But White raised and spent far more money prior to October.

According to the 30-day report he filed on Oct. 10, White — once the Edinburg police chief — received $69,700 in political contributions between July 16 and Oct. 6.

Over that same period, he spent $49,000, while keeping nearly $22,000 in his war chest.

Meanwhile, Lozano kicked off his campaign on May 1 with a $100,000 infusion of funds via a loan from his own construction company, called NUTX Inc.

An individual donor also made a $250 contribution to Lozano’s campaign that month.

Between individual campaign contributions and the loan from his company, Lozano has maintained the flushest campaign coffers of all the candidates.

Edinburg City Hall is seen in this undated photo. (Courtesy: City of Edinburg/Facebook)

Over the summer, Lozano raised $12,750 in contributions from donors, while spending $32,535, according to his Oct. 10 campaign finance report.

His most recent report — filed on Oct. 30 — shows Lozano had no new contributions. He did, however, spend nearly $16,000 during that period.

The majority of Lozano’s October spending — some $12,832 — went toward “polling expenses,” according to his seven-day report.

And finally, in the race for municipal judge, incumbent Hector Bustos campaign finances outpace his opponent’s by about 2-to-1.

Between Oct. 11 and Oct. 30, Bustos raised just under $8,500 while spending about $9,500.

However, his 30-day report shows that the contributions Bustos collected over the summer come from a who’s who in the local legal community.

Between July 16 and Oct. 10, Bustos spent nearly every penny of the $42,800 in contributions he received.

The report shows he spent $42,745.10 during that period, and also reimbursed himself for a $5,000 self-funded loan.

Bustos’ campaign donors include a number of bail bonds companies and small businesses.

But he also received significant funds from local lawyers, including $1,000 from the campaign of state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and another $1,000 from Canales’ law firm.

Other notable donations came from the Ricky Rod Law Group, the law firm of former Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez, as well as Jesus “Jesse” Contreras, who is currently running for state district judge.

Meanwhile, in the last month before Election Day, Guerra raised $3,700 in contributions while spending $8,330, according to his seven-day report.

However, a tally of line item expenditures shows that he spent more than $9,700 in advertising over that same time period.

The bulk of Guerra’s campaign financing has come from loans, the reports show.

Guerra lent himself $4,500 between July 15 and Oct. 7, according to his 30-day report.

During that period, he also received a $10,500 loan from a person named Amrit Keswani, and another $6,100 in loans from an unknown person or entity.

Guerra left blank the space where that identifying information should have been included on the report.

Early voting concluded Wednesday. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Place 4 Edinburg Councilman Johnny Garcia is running against David Salazar, while Place 3 Edinburg Councilman David White is running against businessman Gerardo “Gerry” Lozano.